It was when we were just setting off, leaving town and catching a glimpse of our moving reflection in the store front windows that it felt like we were starting something special, a five day motorcycle journey from Sydney to Melbourne. This adventure came with a special treat. The icing on the cake of an amazing road trip, two days of track time at Philip Island, home to World Superbike and Moto GP racing. Its expectation would add an extra level of excitement to the days ahead.
Before we even launched, Nancy coached us through deciding what to bring and how to pack as well as helping us with anything else we needed. Our fearless leader Cat MacLeod, had taken away all the stress of planning the whole tour, from arranging for the bikes to designing the scenic route. Leading us from the ocean to rain forests, into the mountains, and all varieties of landscape, we were in good hands with an expert rider and guide. It was nice knowing that he knew where to go so we could enjoy the ride, once even taking us into a field to see a wild kangaroo mob coming in for grass nibbles. Cat also knew where to stop for lunch. The hidden gems that only the locals would know with fresh fabulous meals and warm welcomes. The hotels were perfect and located within walking distance to dinner, giving us a chance to clean up, stretch our legs, and have evenings free to explore. Maybe most importantly, Cat had an instinct for when to stop for a break, even before we thought we needed it, but definitely did. Often times we’d stop at a petrol station for rehydration or a stretch, or when traversing Bandara and isolated in the mountains you get comfortable stepping out into nature.
This tour helped us to meet people and see places that we would not have experienced traveling on our own. Cat took the time to take us to a nature center so we could interact with the local wildlife, including wallabies, roos, wombats, dingos, and a Tasmanian devil.
We enjoyed the camaraderie and riding pace of the group. In Cowes on Philip Island we felt part of a bigger team, eating pizza at Pinos Trattoria surrounded by other track day riders with MotoGP memorabilia covering the walls, and seated where Valentino Rossi once sat. And we can’t forget our farewell dinner at ‘Thai on the Island’ which is owned and run by one of the track stewards.
Cat went the extra mile on the last day to drive us all the way to our hotel after dropping the others at the airport. We were staying on for another week and chose St. Kilda for its beach and sailing, south of Melbourne proper. He really did go the extra mile in every way.
Gosh, we had such a great time in Australia. No doubt, watching the televised races from Philip Island will never be the same. Looking forward to our next adventure with Leod Motorcycle Escapes!